Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Review: Trust the Focus (In Focus #1) by Megan Erickson

Trust the Focus

In Focus #1


Megan Erickson


March 17, 2015




eARC from publisher for a honest review

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GR's Summary:

With his college graduation gown expertly pitched into the trash, Justin Akron is ready for the road trip he planned with his best friend Landry— and ready for one last summer of escape from his mother’s controlling grip. Climbing into the Winnebago his father left him, they set out across America in search of the sites his father had captured through the lens of his Nikon. 

As an aspiring photographer, Justin can think of no better way to honor his father’s memory than to scatter his ashes at the sites he held sacred. And there’s no one Justin would rather share the experience with more than Landry. 

But Justin knows he can’t escape forever. Eventually he’ll have to return home and join his mother’s Senate campaign. Nor can he escape the truth of who he is, and the fact that he’s in love with his out-and-proud travel companion. 

Admitting what he wants could hurt his mother’s conservative political career. But with every click of his shutter and every sprinkle of ash, Justin can’t resist Landry’s pull. And when the truth comes into focus, neither is prepared for the secrets the other is hiding.

My Thoughts:

I love Megan Erickson's Bowler University Series, so when I heard that she was coming out with a new series, I was really excited.  Trust the Focus, was an excellent friends to lovers, coming out of the closet, and learning to love and accept yourself type of story.  It had depth, was an emotional read, and very meaningful to me.  I loved the realistic characters, as well as the fast-paced and addictive plot line.

In, Trust the Focus, we get Justin and Landry's story.  Justin has played being straight his whole life.  His best friend since middle school, Landry, is out of the closet, and proud of the person that he is.  However, Justin has been consciously denying his feelings for the opposite sex, and specifically Landry, for the last eight years. He is a stellar college baseball player, and has pretended to be with girls, so that his family and friends would not suspect his secret.  

Justin's father unexpectedly died of a heart attack recently, and Landry is going with him on a road trip to spread his father's ashes over twelve meaningful places during the summer season.  Come fall, Justin is expected to work for his mother's conservative senate political campaign and surrender his life's decisions to her.  However, being in close proximity to Landry on a daily basis proves to be intense and full of temptation.  What will come of Justin and Landry's friendship after this summer? Will he allow his mother to continue to dictate his life, or take a chance on love with his best friend, standing up for what he wants and who he is?

Trust the Focus was a powerful story about self-awareness, acceptance, friendship, and love.  As I want on this road trip with Justin and Landry, I lived their journey with them.  Justin was so unhappy, frustrated, angry at himself, and filled with self-loathing.  I felt horrible for him and the inner turmoil that festered and grew until he couldn't be happy anymore.  It made him a difficult person to be around, and yet Landry was always there for him, supporting and encouraging him every step of the way.  Fear crippled Justin.  He was scared of his mother disowning him, and his friends abandoning him.  

I felt such sympathy for the angst, and emotional turmoil that he found himself in.  I loved how realistic Justin and Landry were portrayed.  Most of all, I loved how the journey they took wasn't just a physical journey, but was also a journey of the heart.  Justin's story was about courage, and not letting anything stand in you way of being true to yourself.

My Rating:

I give, Trust the Focus, by Megan Erickson, 5 Unconditional Friendship, Self-Discovery, Soulmate Filled Stars!  This was an excellent and powerful story.  It was filled with friendship, passion, romance, love, self-acceptance, and taking charge of your own happiness!

Character Casting by the Author:

Book Teasers:

Book Excerpt:
     When I stepped out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around my waist, Landry was awake, lying on his stomach, hands folded beneath his chin. Shit, had he heard anything? I wondered if my skin showed a blush. I guess I could have blamed it on the hot water. His eyes roamed my chest and I gritted my teeth. 
     “Hey, a shower would be awesome.”
     I pointed to the bathroom behind me as he hopped off the bed. “All yours. I might have taken all the hot water.” Might have. Probably definitely did. 
     “Dick,” he said, smacking my ass as he walked by me.
     The door shut behind him and I let out a ragged breath.
     I pulled on a pair of jeans, a T-shirt, sweatshirt, and boots, because it was still cool in Washington in May. I shoved the bed back into a sofa so we’d have room to move around. Then I whipped up some scrambled eggs for us and popped a couple of bagels in the toaster we’d brought along. 
     Landry rested his chin on my shoulder as I piled some eggs on plates, startling me since I hadn’t heard the bathroom door. 
     “You want some eggs?” I asked. 
     “Sounds awesome. Thanks.” 
     We ate quickly, sitting at the little table across from the stove. 
     “What a good little RV wife you are,” Landry crooned.
     “What? If anyone’s the wife, you’re the wife.” 
      His eyes narrowed in challenge. “Oh, really? Why? Because I’m gay?” 
     “No, because I’m driving, so I’m the husband.” 
     “No, you’re driving because you’re the wife, and I’m the husband who’s better at navigation.” 
     “You’re also a better cook.” 
     Landry shoved his legs in a pair of skinny jeans and pulled a long-sleeve T-shirt over his head. “I microwaved food like an eight-year-old. You actually cooked. And the majority of successful chefs are, in fact, male.” 
     I glared. 
     He rolled his eyes. “Okay, you’re husband J and I’m husband L.” 
     Seriously? He’d basically just condensed my life fantasy into one sentence. “Fine, I’m HJ. You’re HL.” 
     Landry snickered as he slipped his feet into flip-flops. “HJ. You sure you want to claim those initials?” 
     “What? Why?” 
     Landry opened up the door to the RV and motioned with his head. “I’m just going to pop into the gas station. And how do you not know this? HJ? Hand job?” He laughed and banged the door shut behind him. 
     Fuck, I needed another shower.

About Megan Erickson:

Megan Erickson grew up in a family that averages 5’5” on a good day and started writing to create characters who could reach the top kitchen shelf. 

She’s got a couple of tattoos, has a thing for gladiators and has been called a crazy cat lady. After working as a journalist for years, she decided she liked creating her own endings better and switched back to fiction. 

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. And no, she still can’t reach the stupid top shelf.


  1. I love Megan too! I'm so glad you loved this one. Loved that excerpt. They are adorable.

  2. OH! This one sounds like an emotional read and the characters sound wonderful!

    Great review!!!

  3. I love emotional reads and I love Megan's books. I'm going to have to check this out!


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